CHANDHOK A STRONG FOURTH IN HUNGARY Hungaroring, Hungary: Following his stunning race victory in the previous round of the GP2 Series, India's Karun Chandhok followed that up with an impressive fourth place in the feature race for the ...
CHANDHOK A STRONG FOURTH IN HUNGARY
Hungaroring, Hungary: Following his stunning race victory in the previous round of the GP2 Series, India's Karun Chandhok followed that up with an impressive fourth place in the feature race for the Formula 1 feeder category at the Hungaroring.
The 24-year-old from Chennai, who is backed by Red Bull, Punj Lloyd, JK Tyre, Amaron, ICSA Logistics and Sidvin, started from fifth on the grid but could have been higher had he not been forced into a spin by a slowing car ahead of him that caused his engine to stall.
Chandhok had been on the front row when the incident happened, caused when Jerome d'Ambrosio suddenly slowed in front of him: "I had to move to the inside to avoid him, but in doing so I clipped the kerb and spun," he said. "I didn't quite max out the first set of tyres, which was still good enough for second at the time, so I'm disappointed I didn't get a chance to prove I could have gone quicker on the second set of fresh tyres."
His chances of repeating his Hungary victory went up in smoke at the start when a repeat of Hockenheim's clutch problem meant he made a poor getaway, dropping from fifth to seventh on the opening lap. He lost another place when Renault F1 protege Romain Grosjean rudely rejoined straight in front of him after he'd gone off through a gravel trap, allowing Honda F1 tester Mike Conway to jump ahead.
Thanks to some quick laptimes when Conway pitted, and some swift pitwork from his iSport International crew, Chandhok got back ahead of Conway and would go on to finish just off the podium in a strong fourth place.
"Bearing in mind what happened in the first couple of laps, a fourth place finish is a good result," said Karun. "I still can't believe that Grosjean rejoined like that right in front of me, I almost had to come to a halt to avoid a major crash. We showed we had good pace, and as usual around it here it was hard work in the high temperatures."
Sunday's sprint race was over before it begun. A mystery electronic problem stranded him on the dummy grid, and not even attention from his iSport crew in the pitlane could fix the car in time for the start of the race.
"It was so frustrating, being ready to go and then something like this happens," he said. "I just sat there in neutral not able to go anywhere. We tried replacing everything we could - even the steering wheel - but it made no difference."
The next round of the GP2 Series is on the brand new Valencia street circuit in Spain. Chandhok visited the track when it ran a test race weekend two weeks ago, and said: "It was a worthwhile visit because I rode around the circuit for a number of laps," he said. "I can't wait to try it in my GP2 car. We're still right in the hunt to finish in the top 3 of the Championship and our pace this weekend gives me plenty of optimism for the rest of the season."